Rated: G Reviewed by: Gerry Release date: April 21, 2017 Released by: Walt Disney Pictures
This Walt Disney documentary, based on 3 or 4 groupings of animals is not my usual film fare. The animals all indigenous to China featured a snow leopard and her two cubs. This group dwells at approximately 14,000 feet above sea level. Early on in the movie another group challenges our original family for control of their hunting grounds. The mother leopard fights them off. About a year later she and her family are driven off. She and her young family fall on hard times. The mother leopard is eventually killed while attempting to down game for her young cubs. While tragic, the new group takes over the hunting area, and the ongoing cycle repeats itself again.
A second group featured in this group involved a community of monkeys. This segment opens with a new born monkey, who is apparently the apple of his parents love and affection. He is replaced in a year by a smaller and needier new born addition to the family. The displaced youngster then takes up with a group of monkeys that has lots of fun, and engages in many pranks. The monkey craves for the closeness of his original family. He eventually works his way back into his original group. He even saves his little sister from a predator.Peace and harmony seem to prevail as this segment concludes.
The third featured story focuses on a mother panda and her new born offspring. These two seem to have no natural enemies in their area, and are content to frolic and play all day. They really seem to be happy with one another. The mother attempts to teach her little one to climb trees, where he will find safety. She is very affectionate and patient, and often carries her cub about by the neck. At the end of this segment the young panda negotiates tree climbing alone, and seems ready to survive on his own.
Throughout all three segments the photography is incredible. The Disney team even interviewed several of the camera people, and showed the difficult conditions under which the film was produced. While not a typical Disney story line the movie depicted life in the wild. It seemed to focus on the theme that nature works in cycles. Life goes on and the wild creatures continue to thrive, even in difficult conditions.
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